bite

verb
\ ˈbīt \
bit\ ˈbit \; bitten\ ˈbi-​tᵊn \ also bit; biting\ ˈbī-​tiŋ \

Definition of bite

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to seize especially with teeth or jaws so as to enter, grip, or wound was bitten by a dog
b : to wound, pierce, or sting especially with a fang or a proboscis getting bitten by mosquitoes a snake bit his leg
2 : to cut or pierce with or as if with an edged weapon bit by his sword
3 : to cause sharp pain or stinging discomfort to the sleet biting our faces
4 : to take hold of help the pliers bite the part
5 archaic : to take in : cheat

intransitive verb

1 : to bite or have the habit of biting something This cat bites.
2 of a weapon or tool : to cut, pierce, or take hold bites down on the part The anchor bites into the ocean floor.
3 : to cause irritation or smarting Her criticisms really bite.
4 : corrode
5a of fish : to take a bait The fish aren't biting today.
b : to respond so as to be caught (as by a trick)
c : to accept a suggestion or an offer offered them a deal but they wouldn't bite
6 : to take or maintain a firm hold The anchor didn't bite well.
7 : to produce a negative effect the recession began to bite
8 chiefly US slang, sometimes vulgar : to be objectionable or extremely bad in quality : stink, suck This song bites.
9 US slang : to imitate or copy (someone or something) especially without permission There are lots of rappers biting his style—but there's only one James Brown!Spin
bite off more than one can chew
: to undertake more than one can handle
bite one's tongue
: to hold back (as from a reluctance to offend) a remark one would like to make
bite the bullet
: to enter with resignation upon a difficult or distressing course of action
bite the dust
1 : to fall dead especially in battle
2a : to suffer humiliation or defeat
b : to come to an end
bite the hand that feeds one
: to injure a benefactor maliciously

bite

noun
plural bites

Definition of bite (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : the act of biting took a bite of the sandwich felt a bite at the end of the fishing line
b : the manner of biting especially, dentistry : occlusion sense 1b wore braces to correct her bite
2 : food: such as
a : the amount of food taken at a bite : morsel couldn't eat another bite
b : a small amount of food : snack have a bite to eat

3 archaic

a : cheat, trick
b : sharper
4 : a wound made by biting The bite became infected.
5 : the hold or grip by which friction (see friction sense 1b) is created or purchase (see purchase entry 2 sense 3b(1)) is obtained
6 : a surface that creates friction or is brought into contact with another for the purpose of obtaining a hold
7a : a keen incisive quality a writing style that lacks bite a satirical bite
b : a sharp penetrating effect The soup has a peppery bite. the bite of the wind on our cheeks
8 etching : a single exposure of an etcher's plate to the corrosive action of acid
9 : an amount (as of money) taken usually in one operation for one purpose : share a 15 percent bite for his manager
10 : sound bite a 10-second news bite
11 : an expression of interest in something being offered In seven previous days, the seller didn't get a single bite [=no one expressed interest in buying what was offered].— Jerry Garrett et al.

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Other Words from bite

Verb

biter \ ˈbī-​tər \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for bite

Synonyms: Verb

smell, stink, suck [slang]

Synonyms: Noun

acerbity, acidity, acidness, acridity, acridness, acrimoniousness, acrimony, acuteness, asperity, bitterness, edge, harshness, keenness, poignance, poignancy, pungency, roughness, sharpness, tartness

Antonyms: Verb

rock [slang], rule [slang]

Antonyms: Noun

mildness, softness

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Examples of bite in a Sentence

Verb

The hamster bit the child. She bit the cookie in half. Some people bite their nails when they feel nervous. A wild animal may bite if it is frightened. The patient had been bitten by a poisonous snake. The mosquitoes are biting tonight. Are the fish biting today?

Noun

He ate the candy bar in three quick bites. She gave her lip a gentle bite. The fisherman felt a bite at the end of his line and reeled in a fish. My teenage daughter wears a special device at night to correct her bite. Don't scratch that mosquito bite.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In 2016, the DMSC received letters from detainees describing conditions at the El Paso Processing Center, including one from a detainee who claims he was not treated for a worsening spider bite and high fever. Elaine Murphy, Teen Vogue, "What Really Happens Inside American Immigration Facilities and Detention Centers," 14 Jan. 2019 Co-hosted by stylist Kate Young, guests including Alexandra Dwek, Christine Chiu, and Shelley Belling indulged in light bites and lively conversation on the evolution of the carpet and its impact on fashion, namely, the carpet from the previous day. Edward Barsamian, Vogue, "The Vogue100 Hosts an Intimate, Post-Golden Globes Lunch," 8 Jan. 2019 Tickets for the night are $150 and include an open bar, passed bites, and retro vibes. Condé Nast Traveler, "Six Ways to Spend New Years Eve in New York: An Insider's Guide," 24 Dec. 2018 These buttery shortbread cookies are best when paired with a cup of tea (or a holiday cocktail). Instead of using cookie cutters, simply cute these red and green treats into bite-size pieces. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, "The Easiest Recipe for Christmas Shortbread Bites," 19 Dec. 2018 Rather, each grab-and-go gift comes filled with bite-size beauty products. Zoe Ruffner, Vogue, "13 Bite-Size Beauty Gifts to Kick Start the Holiday Festivities," 17 Dec. 2018 Bytedance, which was founded in 2012, did not set out to dominate the market for bite-size videos. Casey Newton, The Verge, "The Google walkout offers a playbook for successful corporate protests," 2 Nov. 2018 Break the meringues into bite-size chunks; fold into the cream mixture. Jeanmarie Brownson, chicagotribune.com, "When Eton mess gives you extra yolks, whip them up into ice cream," 10 July 2018 Turkey tips are chunks of boneless turkey cut into bite-size pieces. Liz Biro, Indianapolis Star, "Insane new Indiana State Fair foods that will complete your summer," 9 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bite.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of bite

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for bite

Verb

Middle English biten, going back to Old English bītan, going back to Germanic *bītan- (whence Old Saxon bītan "to bite, cut into," Old High German bīzan, Old Norse bíta, Gothic beitan), going back to Indo-European *bhei̯d- "split," whence also Latin findere "to split, cleave, divide" (from a derivative *bhi-n-d-), Sanskrit abhet "has split," bhinátti "(s/he) splits" and perhaps Greek pheídomai, pheidésthai "to spare, save, refrain from"

Noun

derivative of bite entry 1

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Learn More about bite

Dictionary Entries near bite

bitch-slap

bitchy

Bitcoin

bite

biteable

bite back

bitegmic

Statistics for bite

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Time Traveler for bite

The first known use of bite was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for bite

bite

verb

English Language Learners Definition of bite

 (Entry 1 of 2)

of a person or animal : to press down on or cut into (someone or something) with the teeth

of an insect or snake : to wound (someone) by pushing a stinger, fang, etc., into the skin

: to grab and hold something without slipping

bite

noun

English Language Learners Definition of bite (Entry 2 of 2)

: an act of biting

: the way the upper and lower teeth come together

: the amount of food eaten with a bite

bite

verb
\ ˈbīt \
bit\ ˈbit \; bitten\ ˈbi-​tᵊn \; biting\ ˈbī-​tiŋ \

Kids Definition of bite

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to seize, grip, or cut into with or as if with teeth bite an apple
2 : to wound or sting usually with a stinger or fang A mosquito bit me.
3 : to take a bait The fish are biting.

bite

noun

Kids Definition of bite (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an act of seizing or cutting into with the teeth three quick bites
2 : a wound made by biting : sting a mosquito bite
3 : the amount of food taken at a bite I just had a bite of dessert.
4 : a sharp or biting sensation The pepper has a bite.

bite

verb
\ ˈbīt \
bit\ ˈbit \; bitten\ ˈbit-​ᵊn \ also bit; biting\ ˈbīt-​iŋ \

Medical Definition of bite

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to seize especially with teeth or jaws so as to enter, grip, or wound
2 : to wound, pierce, or sting especially with a fang or a proboscis

intransitive verb

: to bite or have the habit of biting something

bite

noun

Medical Definition of bite (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the act or manner of biting especially : occlusion sense 2a
2 : a wound made by biting

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More from Merriam-Webster on bite

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bite

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bite

Spanish Central: Translation of bite

Nglish: Translation of bite for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bite for Arabic Speakers

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